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Kevin Wallevand, Forum Communications, Published September 06 2012

Family of Cooperstown teen to participate in suicide prevention walk

COOPERSTOWN, N.D. – Two years after her tragic, senseless death, the family of 16-year-old Cassidy Andel of Cooperstown hopes their loss will somehow touch another teen or parent facing despair.

Andel killed herself Nov. 4, 2010, reportedly after she had been bullied through text messages and over Facebook by fellow teens. It was the start of her sophomore year at Griggs County Central.

The family will have a team of relatives and friends in the upcoming “Out of the Darkness Walk” for suicide prevention in Fargo later this month.

As her parents sit back in Cooperstown and watch her friends mark milestones in what would have been Cassidy’s senior year, there still hangs that question. How did this happen? Why?

“I always want to remind people you never know where a person is in your life, and the smallest thing to you could be huge to them,” said her mother, Amy Andel.

It has taken awhile. Healing is forever. But Amy now drives to support group meetings in Fargo. It helps, but it still hurts.

“It has been a lifesaver for me,” Amy Andel said.

The teen’s death later paved the way for a new bullying law for North Dakota schools.

“Even though she has died and we miss her terribly, she has done a lot to bring suicide and bullying to the front burner,” her mother said.

If you go

What: “Out of the Darkness” walk

When: 2 p.m. on Sept. 23

Where: Lindenwood Park in Fargo

Kevin Wallevand is a reporter for WDAY-TV

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